Defendant in death penalty case wants evidence to be tossed
NEW CASTLE, Pa. -- David Garvey doesn't want prosecutors to use his shoes, leather jacket and jewelry as evidence against him in his upcoming trial.
Garvey, 21, of Struthers, who is facing the death penalty if convicted in the stabbing death of 12-year-old Shannon Leigh Kos of Youngstown, appeared Thursday in Lawrence County Common Pleas Court to ask a judge to throw out those items as evidence.
His attorney, Thomas Leslie, contends the items were seized without a proper search warrant.
Leslie said the problem stems from how the search warrant was written and where police picked up the items.
Garvey was arrested about 1:50 a.m. Oct. 14 and taken to the Lawrence County Jail for processing.
Pennsylvania State Police got a search warrant at about that same time and it stated they wanted items from Garvey and his home on Poland Avenue in Struthers.
About 12 hours later, police went to the jail and collected Garvey's clothing and jewelry from the booking area, where he had been stripped and issued an orange jail uniform.
Leslie contends police did not list the jail on their search warrant and the items were taken illegally.
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Minett says the search warrant lists taking items from Garvey's person.
He argued in court that taking them from the jail booking area is the same as taking them from Garvey himself.
Leslie has also asked the judge to consider if too much time elapsed between Shannon's death and when the items were seized.
Shannon was killed Oct. 8 near an abandoned railroad bed in Mahoning Township, but her body wasn't discovered for a few days. Garvey and Perry S. Ricciardi, 22, and William Monday, 23, both of Struthers, were arrested about a week later.
"You've got a period of time between the date the homicide occurred and the time he is arrested. He's been out there and was living with William Monday. Those clothes could have been anywhere," Leslie said.
Judge Dominick Motto is expected to rule in about a month after attorneys have had a chance to file written arguments.
Garvey and Ricciardi are expected to go to trial sometime later this year.
Monday pleaded guilty in April to first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder and abuse of a corpse.
He was sentenced to life in prison.